Anyone who has ever had a visit from a house mouse in the pantry knows: Mice are not necessarily picky in their diet and eat all sorts of things. The tame cousins of the house mice, however, need a slightly more balanced feed if they want to live a long, healthy life.
The ready-made mixes for mice from the trade are not always the optimal feed for the small rodents. Often too much fat is contained and so-called pellets do not eat the animals. How to put together a healthy diet for the winclings instead, the following tips reveal.
Mice eat a lot, but not everything is healthy
The reason wild house mice do amicably at all available supplies is because they have no choice. After all, the rodents have many enemies – cats see them as prey animals, just like foxes or birds of prey. In addition, very few people may have a mouse in the house, precisely because it likes to loot the pantry or nibble clothes, build a nest out of the leftovers or use it as a toilet. In other words, the wild mouse relatives have to eat what they can get and do not have a high life expectancy even then. In tame mice, on the other hand, you can pay attention to the diet so that they eat neither too much nor the wrong one. Rodents do not need sugar at all, feed them with salt – if at all – only very frugal. In addition, the fat content must be kept in mind, because if the food is too high in fat, it is a risk of being overweight.
Unfortunately, ready mixes are often too fatty for mice, as the proportion of sunflower seeds and peanuts is too high. Furthermore, the ready-made food often contains so-called pellets, colorful, pressed small poles, in which no one knows exactly what is in there, and whether it is healthy for the rodents. First, take a look at the ingredient list on the packaging when buying grain mixes. The proportion of starchy grains such as millet, wheat, spelt, barley, buckwheat or grass seeds should be at least 60 to 70 percent. Rice and corn flakes are also fine. The proportion of fatty grains is best only between five and ten per cent. These include pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, hemp, as well as flaxseed and sesame seeds. The latter are particularly recommended for their high levels of unsaturated fatty acids. The rest should contain protein-rich foods, meaning pea flakes, oats or shine.
Nutrition: Green food and vegetables for mice
For a healthy diet, mice also need so-called juice food. This refers to fresh, water-containing foods, such as vegetables, fruit, grasses and herbs. Fruit should only be given in very small quantities, such as a tiny piece of two to three times a week, as it contains a lot of sugar that the rodents can’t digest well and that damages their teeth. In nature, the animals like to eat roots, tubers, grass and wild herbs. Root vegetables such as carrots, topinambur, parsnips and turnips taste to most mice and contain important nutrients for them. In small quantities, leafy vegetables are also well received and tolerated. With salad, you should dispose of the strunk and outer leaves, as there may be too many pollutants there. However, if your mouse gets diarrhea from it, you better do without it.
Other suitable vegetables include broccoli, kohlrabi, cauliflower or Chinese cabbage as well as cucumbers. In addition, mice enjoy fresh meadow green, such as grass or dandelions. However, don’t pick too close to a busy road and, if possible, not in places where dogs often stay. Otherwise, the green may be contaminated with exhaust fumes or urine. You should also leave your fingers from grasses and herbs with bird droppings, as it can make the rodents sick.
Important for the mouse teeth: Rouse and twigs
As with other rodents, the mouse teeth grow continuously. If they are not regularly worn out by eating, this can lead to tooth malpositions and serious injuries. Therefore, it should definitely also be so-called roughage on the menu. In addition, the raw fibres and fibre contained in the roughage are important for mouse digestion. The small mouse cage does not have enough strength to carry the food into the intestines on its own, so it takes the fibres and fibre to push the food into the digestive tract. Fresh, high-quality hay belongs in every mouse cage, but also twigs are excellent for nibbling. Non-toxic branches come, for example, from the apple and pear tree, from the poplar as well as the hazelnut, blueberry and currant shrub.
Animal proteins must not be missing
Unlike rabbits, mice need animal proteins to stay healthy. In the zoo trade there are mealworms, kitchens and crickets, which can be given to the rodents alive. However, mealworms contain a lot of fat, so they rarely belong on the menu. Amazingly, certain dry food varieties for dogs and cats are also tolerated for their prey animals. It goes without saying that there should be no sugar in it, and it should also contain no taurine and as little salt as possible. Small pieces of hard-boiled eggs as well as sugar-free, lean dairy products such as curd and yoghurt, as well as unsalted cottage cheese, are also good sources of protein. Even if it is a common cliché: Cheers should best not eat the rodents at all because of the high salt and fat content.